Julien Hudson, born January 9, 1811, in New Orleans, was the son of Desiree Marcos, a property-owning free woman of color, and John Thomas Hudson, an English merchant, ironmonger, and ship chandler. Hudson took up his career in painting in the mid-1820s, training first in New Orleans with itinerant miniaturist Antonio Meucci, and later in Paris with wellkwn artist Alexandre Abel de Pujol. Little is kwn about Hudson's personal life, outside of scattered details found in a handful of public documents and a pair of early-twentieth-century reminiscences by former student George Coulon and prominent Creole of color Rodolphe Desdunes. Hudson's story is alluring, frustrating, and poignant. An artist who died young and left a fragmentary body of work, he offers a path into a unique historical moment in a city that has always provided ample fodder for commentary, invention, fantasy, and fascination. His artistic reputation rests upon a handful of secure paintings and a group of attributed works. Nothing can be definitively proven about these works or their histories, ensuring that the aura of mystery surrounding them - and their maker - will persist.